I am doing a philosophy paper about animals in captivity, and if that should be considered slavery. I am doing my research, but I have yet to formulate an opinion.
Some interesting things I’ve learned is that captive animals typically die earlier than their wild counterparts. Also, Germany has voted to add animals into their constitution: "A majority of lawmakers in the Bundestag voted on Friday to add "and animals" to a clause that obliges the state to respect and protect the dignity of humans."
I usually side with people who say animals should be respected. I love animals. I am against cosmetics being tested on animals. I am for certain medications to be tested on animals in situations where humans would be at risk.
I guess the part I am having a problem with is, are some of these zoos keeping the animals from becoming extinct? It certainly seems that a zoo is a safer place than an area inhabited by poachers.
What do you think?
@Matt, You have a very logical standpoint on this matter, so thank you for that.
If you want you can touch on how prison is similar to animal captivity and how we are basically treating our own species like animals.
Oh, and I agree with Shelby, you definitely need to define slavery. “Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold,” Okay, that part works.. “and are forced to work.” Alright, that one doesn’t. Maybe change the word? Unless, you are talking about circus animals or something of the sort.
For my paper I am strictly doing “Are the whales at sea world slaves.” The paper has to be a very narrow scope.
I am expanding on this topic for this discussion, mostly because I foresee a domino effect if a collective decision is reached that animals should have more rights then we are giving them, like in Germany.
So, lets define slavery as: 1. the state or condition of being a slave; a civil relationship whereby one person has absolute power over another and controls his life, liberty, and fortune
I feel that by this definition the whales in sea world/circus animals/some zoo animals, are slaves. They are held in captivity purely for our amusement.
Animal captivity in general does seem to resemble prison. We can limit the scope of the maxim of captivity to only hold animals who would be extinct due to poaching.
I guess it comes down to the distinction one makes between man and animal.
As a personal opinion, I find the argument that man is always superior to be very short-sighted. Man is doing a nice job screwing up this planet. Of course we have the power to reflect on our actions, whereas animals don’t. If man were the downfall of its own existence, how could we possibly say man is superior to animals?
I agree with your last statement/question, Matt.. and I even take it a step further and ponder the idea that animals are higher evolved than man. It seems they have figured out that of which we have not: how to prolong their species, vice destroying it.. sticking to the basics, sex & survival.
I am afraid that to add animals to the slavery issue would only serve to undermine humans in captivity. Slavery is actually at higher levels than it ever has been before, and to add animals to the picture could only undermine awareness of human captivity. Please think of the bigger picture of human rights.
“The suit is based on the plain text of the 13th Amendment, which prohibits the condition of slavery without reference to “person” or any particular class of victim. “Slavery is slavery, and it does not depend on the species of the slave any more than it depends on gender, race, or religion,” says general counsel to PETA, Jeffrey Kerr”
“All five of these orcas were violently seized from the ocean and taken from their families as babies. They are denied freedom and everything else that is natural and important to them while kept in small concrete tanks and reduced to performing stupid tricks,” says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. “The 13th Amendment prohibits slavery, and these orcas are, by definition, slaves.”
@Kahlib, can you elaborate on your meaning? I am unaware of anyone who would not recognize slavery if they saw it, and I don’t see how freeing animals from slavery would undermine awareness of human captivity.
We’re using up animals’ native habitate, so we have to keep them in zoos if we want to keep them alive…for us I guess, not for themselves.
I am not even for using animals for testing medicine. It’s cruel and horrible. We don’t deserve to live if we do that.
How about bacteria, though? They are living. Should we kill them? How far do Buddhists go?
I suppose that our pet cats, dogs, and budgies could be considered slaves too depending on how you define it.
I think SeaWorld raises the profile of whales. I would guess that the world’s whales gain a lot of advocates from the public that go to SeaWorld.
Animal testing is a tough one. If it’s spraying a new formula of hairspray into a rats eyes, I would say no to it, but if it is injecting experimental anti-viral agents into a diseased rat then I would be probably be ok with that.
@Matt- Sorry for not responding sooner.
Anyway, National Geographic magazine devoted an issue to the subject of human bondage- slavery- some years ago. At the time the issue came out, they asserted there were more humans in slavery than there had ever been before at any period in history. This includes the era of the middle passage, and times when ancient Egypt had the use of slaves.
Now, I understand the points about how most cultures treat animals, and agree it is deplorable. However, as animals are not human beings, they are by definition, not slaves. This is the international definition of “slavery”:
“Slavery is the status or condition of a person over whom any or all of the
powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised”
This is the definition of “person”:
“A human being regarded as an individual.”
I don’t see how it can be any clearer. Furthermore, I take issue with attempts to splice two separate issues with the intention for one to capitalize on the notoriety of the other. Tisk tisk.
They aren’t slaves. Wrong word. Prisoner. Not all animals are prisoners. I think it’s insanely savage and disrespectful to remove their claws and cease reproduction functions. Then in other cases, on top of mutilation, they are stuck in cages. When they are let out they get yelled at for being too crazy. Are you fucking kidding me? That is torture.